Latency In vitro of varicella-zoster virus in cells derived from human fetal dorsal root ganglia

Eli Somekh, G. Da Vol Tedder, Abbas Vafai, Jose G. Assouline, Stephen E. Straus, Christine L. Wilcox, Myron J. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A potential in vitro model of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) latency was developed. Dissociated human dorsal root ganglion cultures were infected with VZV and maintained for 1 wk in the presence of bromovinyl arabi-nosyl uracil, a potent inhibitor of VZV. Seven to 21 d after removing the inhibitor (>14 d after infection), the cells were trypsinized, passed to monolayers of human embry­onic lung fibroblasts, and observed for VZV reactivation as indicated by typical cytopathic effects and the appear­ance of VZV antigens. VZV reactivated from 56% of the cultures containing both neurons and satellite cells but not from cultures specifically enriched for either neurons, sat­ellite cells, or ganglion-derived fibroblasts. The failure to isolate VZV from cell suspensions that were sonicated before cocultivation with fibroblasts indicated that infec­tious VZV was not present before reactivation. Moreover, immunohistochemical and immunoprecipitation studies re­vealed no VZV-specific antigens in any cultures before the reactivation stimulus. VZV antigens were detected after trypsinization and cocultivation. These findings suggest that cultures containing both neurons and satellite cells provide a model system for VZV persistence that possesses many properties of a latent infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-703
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

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